Related to This Book

Waiting for An Angel

A Novel

Helon Habila (Author, George Mason University)

Overview | Inside the Book

"Habila's fictionalization...reveals the true casualties of oppression better than any news or history."—Library Journal

Lomba is a young journalist living under military rule in Lagos, Nigeria, the most dangerous city in the world. His mind is full of soul music and girls and the lyric novel he is writing. But his roommate is brutally attacked by soldiers; his first love is forced to marry a wealthy old man; and his neighbors on Poverty Street are planning a demonstration that is bound to incite riot and arrests. Lomba can no longer bury his head in the sand.

Helon Habila's vivid, exciting, and heart-wrenching debut opens a window onto a world in some ways familiar-with its sensuously depicted streets, student life, and vibrant local characters-yet ruled by one of the world's most corrupt and oppressive regimes, a scandal that ultimately drives Lomba to take a risk in the name of something greater than himself. Habila captures the energy, sensitivity, despair, and stubborn hope of a new African generation with a combination of gritty realism and poetic beauty. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2001. Reading group guide included.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • January 2004
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32511-9
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 240 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Habila leaves us a chink of hope, just as he leaves space for irony, love, heartbreak, and humor as the punches rain down....This is a beautifully judged work, powerful, compassionate and complete.” — The Observer

“This is a startlingly vivid novel....Habila paints an extraordinary tableau...bringing sounds, sights and smells to life with his spare prose and flair for metaphor.” — Publishers Weekly

“Tender, funny and compassionate.” — Doris Lessing

“Habila employs a prose whose spirituality recalls Wole Soyinka, Amilcar Cabral and King.” — Wally Hammond, Time Out

“Brilliantly captures the reign of terror in Lagos in the 1990s.” — Publishing News

“In elegant, economical, and often lyrical prose, Habila captures the state of terror under which Nigerians were forced to live.” — The Times [London]

“Like an angel, Habila has breathed new life into his world.” — Village Voice

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